A Travellerspoint blog

June 2011

Caernarfon Hub

it works!

sunny 19 °F

I selected Caernarfon as my hub for visiting this part of Wales because of the castle and it's status as a World Heritage site. I booked my stay at The Black Boy Inn back in November 2010 when first planing my trip. The Inn is lovely . . . Historical and comfortable. My single room with a twin bed is tucked up in the rafters and I am serenaded by gulls all day. they are particularly raucous at sunset and dawn. Everyone here is friendly, the food is good, and the beer is cold. Can't beat that.

Friday started off sunny, so I crossed the bridge in Bangor to the Island of Anglesey. I went to Beaumaris Castle and had the castle to myself! What a treat! The castle is very pretty with a moat going all around it -- there was even a pair of swans. Beaumaris is beautifully symmetrical wit) towers at each corner, but it was never finished. One of Edward I's castles, it was never strategically important enough to complete.

From Beaumaris, I went to a little place called Penmon where there are several things to see. in the 600s a hermit, later canonized as Saint Seriol, had a hut near a spring -- St. Seriol's Well. There are the ruins of a 13th century priory, an a section which has been incorporated into a church. Inside the church are several stones with Celtic carvings. There is a dovecot -- a building to house doves, apparently a tasty dish. Up there road was a light house and a view of Puffin Island --Ynys Seriol. St. Serial and his followers built hermitages on the island.

From there I drove along the outside rim of the island enjoying the spectacular scenery. On Holy Head Island, I ate lunch at South Stack Nature Reserve and relaxed. From there I went to Bryn celli ddu, a stone burial site which was a very cool. it was in the middle os a sheep pasture, and looked like a little mound of earn covered with grass. There were stone openings at each end, and you can go in and see inside. I had a flashlight with me because I had read that they had discovered carvings on the rocks. It was cool to be in a place over 4000 years old.

I then drove into. Snowdonia since the weather was still decent. The mountains are spectacular -- not particularly high as mountains go,but breathtaking just the same. Sheep were every where.

AWESOME day. Sorry I can't get photos up . . . Apparently it is an iPad thing. So much for THAT step in the planning.

Posted by bczlapinski 06:29 Archived in Wales Tagged snowdonia caernarfon anglesey beaumaris bryn cello ddu Comments (0)

A thousand mile journey . . .

Begins with one step. The Tao Te Ching

sunny 19 °F

My dream trip began yesterday with an uneventful flight. Although I had bits of sleep on the bus and planes, I was pretty weary when I arrived at Birmingham Airport. it was clean and everyone was helpful. The rental car is cute, but My first 10 miles or so were harrowing. The manual/stick shift on the left wasn't too bad and there are rotaries every 5 miles or less, so I got used to those quickly. My GPS worked extremely getting me right to Caernarfon, where my fist stop was the castle, of course.

So here's a bit of info about the castle. it was built on the orders of King Edward I in his efforts to bring the rebellious Welsh under Norman dominion as part of his "ring of iron." Construction began in 1283 on the foundations of an earlier Roman fort and 11th century motte and bailey castle. While my castle interest is purely Romantic from an early over-consumption of romance novels, the essence of this building is raw power. the inner Bailey is massive . . . The photos speak for themselves -- if the link works! Click here for Caernarfon inner Bailey!

For more details on castle history and construction: http://www.castlewales.com/caernarf.html

Posted by bczlapinski 00:03 Archived in Wales Tagged castle caernarfon Comments (1)

Three more days . . .

the waiting is killing me!

Waiting, living in the moment, patience -- these have never been my strong suit despite the the stacks of meditation and living in the moment book, tapes, and pod casts I have gathered over the years. I wish I could just beam myself to Wales and get the show on the road as they say! But I have to wait.

I packed, unpacked and repacked so that I have what I need in a form I can carry. First time through, I had my new rolling duffle AND a rolling carry-on packed to bulging. After a day or two of worrying and complaining, I unpacked and removed half of the stuff I had in the bags-- including the travel books. After all, the internet is available 24/7 and all of mile files are on my ipad. Once I repacked, I was able to get my suitcase down my stairs -- so I guess, my packing is done!

Now just papers to grade and end of the year stuff to finish up and Wednesday will be here before I know it. Om mani padme hum. Breathe, Becky, breathe.

Posted by bczlapinski 03:28 Comments (0)

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